The comments come after reports that North Korea had produced a nuclear warhead small enough to fit on an intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM).
In a press conference at his Bedminster, New Jersey property, Mr Trump warned that North Korean ruler Kim Jong-un “best not make any more threats to the US”.
“They will be met with fire and fury and frankly power the likes of which the world has never seen before,” Mr Trump said, in his first public comments since the news broke.
The US Defense Intelligence Agency has determined that North Korea possesses up to 60 nuclear weapons – some of which are small enough to fit on a long-range missile, The Washington Post reported. This number is more than double that predicted by most independent experts.
Japan’s Defense Ministry has also concluded that “it is possible that North Korea has achieved the miniaturisation of nuclear weapons and has developed nuclear warheads.”
The North Korean regime tested two ICBMs – that they claimed were capable of hitting the US mainland – last month. The missiles were not believed to be capable of delivering a nuclear warhead at the time of launch, with experts split over their potential range.
The US retaliated by flying bombers over the Korean Peninsula and testing a missile of its own. American forces are also helping to deploy a US-made anti-missile defence system – THAAD – in South Korea. North Korea has often accused the US and South Korea of escalating tensions by conducting joint military drills.
Last week, the United Nations voted to impose an estimated $1bn in sanctions on North Korea. Praising the sanctions in an interview, US Ambassador Nikki Haley warned: “It is time for North Korea to realise, we are not playing anymore”.
The North Korean government, however, responded by threatening to take “physical action” against the US.
“Packs of wolves are coming in attack to strangle a nation,” a statement broadcast on North Korean TV said. “They should be mindful that [North Korea’s] strategic steps accompanied by physical action will be taken mercilessly with the mobilisations of all its national strength.”
North Korea said in a later statement that it is “carefully examining” a plan to strike the US Pacific territory of Guam with missiles. A spokesman for the Korean People’s Army, in a…